Product Type: Electronic Arts Nintendo DS games
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~ Land Ahoy! ~
The Sims 2: Castaway (DS)
Member Name: blue_ashleigh
The Sims 2: Castaway (DS)
Advantages: Really good, fun game
Disadvantages: Can be fustrating at times, may bore some people, no replay value
I've never played a Sims game before, shocking as that is, but my friends have been addicted to the Sims for PC. I saw this game online and read mixed reviews about it, some said it's the best Sims game and is really addictive, others said it's boring and drags on. I saw the game on Amazon for £12.50, the lowest price on there at the moment is £14.50 though, and so decided to buy it.
I won't give away much of the game as I found that exploring new places and finding new things was the most exciting part of the game.
As this review is pretty lengthy I've written a short overview of the game for those of you wanting to know just the basics.
------------------------ Quick overview --------------------------------
Sims 2 Castaway starts with your Sim being left on an island. Your task is to survive on the island, and to explore your surroundings, completeing little tasks along the way.
This game is not for people who want an action packed or intellectual game. I love this game, but I can see that some people may get bored. If you love games like Theme Hospital then I think you'll love this game too, but if you're more of a Final Fantasy fan then this isn't the game for you.
This game is really easy to get the hang of, and can lead to hours of fun. There's room on the game for three games to be saved. The game is mainly played using the stylus, but there is a little use of the microphone and other buttons on your DS.
I don't think this game is one you can play over and over again, as once you've done it you've done it. Saying that though, the game does last quite a while (approximately 30 hours for me).
------------------------ In depth review ---------------------------
~ Starting the game ~
You start the game by choosing your characters clothes, gender, skin colour, hair type and hair colour. You then name your character, but note that you can't change the name of your character at a later date (my character is called Delilh, instead of Delilah!). After you've done this, a short clip is shown of your character falling off a crate and then arriving on an island.
~ The idea ~
The idea of the game is that you survive (basically), explore the island, make items, and meet new people. You have little challenges to complete, like building a fire and shelter for your Sim, and tasks set by the people you meet on the island. Patience is required for this game. You have to water withered plants so that they grow and you can obtain food, but that can take a few 'Sim days' to happen. You can fast forward time by pressing the left button at the top of your DS if you really can't wait. Personally I quite like the Sim days unravelling as they do, and tend to wait for things to grow etc. rather than fast forward through time.
~ Playing the game ~
The game is played almost solely with the stylus. Occasionally you use the microphone, but this is quite rare. The game relies heavily on the use of both screens. The top screen shows the time it is (Sim time, not real time), hunger, energy, comfort, bladder, hygiene, and social levels. The bottom screen shows your Sim and this is the screen you play on when fishing or catching bugs. You use the X button to view your inventory - here you can see the food, tools, clothes, items you have, you can also see a map of the island and the parts you've explored. You can tap on any of the icons on the map (each icon represents a part of the island you've explored) to immediately transport to that part of the island. You can use the arrow keys to view the area of the island you're in.
Throughout the game you need to keep an eye on the 6 levels of your Sim (energy, hunger, social, bladder, hygiene, and comfort) to make sure that they don't drop too low. If you do let your Sim's energy levels drop, say, then animals come along and take some of the items in your inventory, so it's advisable to make sure your levels don't drop too low. When your Sim's levels do become low the bar flashes red for that particular level to warn you that you need to do something to increase that level. If your Sim's energy, say, is high, then the energy level bar is green.
Some parts of the game can be quite frustrating as you can't complete certain tasks unless you have the right items, and finding those items can become quite a struggle and can really annoy you! Having these little challenges does mean that the game can be quite addictive, and ensures that the game last s for a good while.
When you go to bed the screen asks whether you'd like to save the game, so if you do want to quit at any time you can just go bed and save your game. The game has enough for three games to be saved at any one time, which I think is plenty, and it does allow the opportunity for family or friends to set up a game on your DS.
This game really isn't difficult and is apparently suitable for people of all ages, though I think younger children may get bored with this game quite quickly. The game is really easy to understand, and I haven't looked at the instruction book once. Literally you can pick up this game and start playing it straight away. This definitely is not the game for you if you like something action packed and intellectual. I tend to play this game when watching the TV as it's fairly mindless. However, I find it quite engrossing, and it's become my favourite game. I like playing games such as Sonic, or Brain Training, but sometimes I just want something I don't have to think about, and this game is perfect for that. I like the challenges, and pottering about catching fish and hunting for food, but I can see that some people may get bored playing this game.
~ Graphics ~
The graphics are quite good, I wouldn't say they were amazing, but they're fairly good. When looking around the part of the island you're in, the characters can become a little pixelated, but for the majority of the game play the graphics are good. The colours are quite vibrant, which I liked.
~ Sound ~
I tend not to play the game with sound as eventually it starts to get a little irritating! I don't think there's much to gain by having the sound on this game. Typically you can hear the waves during the day, and at night there are 'night-time' sounds like an owl. The Sim talks in Sim language, so even when your Sim is talking to another Sim there's nothing to gain from having the sound on.
~ Replay value ~
I think once you've completed the game it's not the sort of game you'd play again. Once you've discovered how to make all the objects and explored the island, I don't think there's much entertainment value in doing it all again. For me, the best part of the game was completing a task and exploring a new section. So I think I'm just going to trade in the game for money or another game rather than trying to complete it again.
It took me approximately 30 hours to complete the game. I maybe play the game once a day or every other day for maybe an hour or so at a time, so I think the game lasted quite a while. This game isn't one that you would play continuously I don't think, I think it's the sort of game that's best played in bursts of maybe an hour or so. This may sound odd, but I'm trying to explain that it's not like GTA or other games like that which you can be utterly engrossed in all day, it's the sort of game that you'd play for a little while then put it down.
~ Conclusion ~
This is my favourite game that I own, and I will definitely be checking out other Sim games as I really enjoyed playing this game. It's definitely worth looking out for if you own a DS (pretty pointless if you don't!) as I think it's a fantastic game!
~ Where to buy it ~
You can buy Sims 2 Castaway from Amazon at £14.50 new and used (I bought mine for £12.50, so the process do vary from time to time).
Summary: I think it's a great game and would definately recommend!